9.29.2008

Interbike 2000Hate

So it's taken me a few days to write up a post-Interbike report. I can assure you that I have legit reasons. After landing in Vegas and my sinuses and nasal passageway adjusted to the zero humidity, we headed to the one thing that would refuel our savage appetites, an In and Out burger. We then went to Home Depot and got all the materials for the Affinity Cycles booth. Initially I had drafted up a balloon-framed wall and a nice bench and display podium but after we found out about all the unions that have Vegas conventions on lock down, we had to redesign it a bit. It seems that if anyone wants to set up a booth, they have to pay Unions up to $2,000 to bring it in! We found a loop hole around that and quickly reassessed our booth. After 4 hours in Home Depot, we had a good redesign. Instead of framing a wall, we'd use scabbed-together hollow core doors and we'd rip down and cut all the lumber needed for a bench. Rather than building a platform, we'd use adhesive linoleum tile flipped upside down and adhered to the floor with carpet tape. The adhesive backing would serve as a means for attaching our graphics to the floor. The rest of the graphics were wheat-pasted into place. We stayed at the convention center until 2am that night, wheat-pasting and building the booth. When Interbike opened on Wednesday morning, we were ready to roll. I'm not sure how many of you have been there before or worked a booth at the show, but it's grueling; giving the same dog and pony show each time an interested person walks up to a bike and asks the same question. Affinity released two new models at Interbike; the Kissena, their aluminum track frame and the XS Low Pro, a 47cm Pursuit. Both of these bikes, along with their Uptown Girl Road frame the the Medium Low Pro were huge hits. Even though we were in the BMX section of the show, we still got a ton of feedback and visitors, as well as a ton of new distributors. I met a ton of really awesome people the first day, including Stevil Kineval of How to Avoid the Bummer Life fame. We discussed plans for world domination via the potential for yet another digital wormhole. Coincidently, I bumped into Steve at the Surly booth, where weeks prior, the Surly rep had promised me beer in exchange for breaking one of their frames. Well, the beer didn't happen, but it was nice bumping into Steve. I also saw the Urban Velo guys there and rapped with the Profile dudes and Drew from Ben's Cycle about a uber-super top secret project. It was also great talking to the BMX dudes who swung by. I continued to browse through the unobtainable bike pr0n for the remainder of the day. We also got to see the world premier of Macaframa, an SF-based track bike video. The premier went well and the time we spent in the parking lot of front of the UNLV student center was the most fun I had on the entire trip. While all this was going on, the Affinity guys were getting into trouble. The next morning wasn't so glamorous. I also had the wonderful experience of joining 40+ brakeless idiots in a drag race down the strip for the MASH race. I think I came in about 8th or so after getting separated from the pack by a skiddish rider... So it was our last day in Vegas and we were all beat. Our room was a mess, our bodies ached and my wallet was empty. Perfect timing to return back home. The last morning in Vegas...

5 comments:

King George said...

saw the "booth" way to make due with what you got.

chestery said...

Ain't just Vegas. Teamsters and/or Stagehands have a stranglehold on convention halls all over the country. I'm all for organized labor and all that entails for living wages and good working conditions...and don't even necessarily mind exorbitant fees for stuff like transporting boxes. But prohibiting, for example, exhibitors from bringing their own shit with their own hands and/or handtrucks seems less like protecting jobs and more like a protection racket.

Anyway...glad y'all were able to rework the booth and cool report.

Kark said...

Balloon framing?

...what the..

you were planning on a retro 50's multi story booth?

Prolly said...

Kark,

Right, I guess I should have just said Stick framing. We had originally planned on adding a series of framed-in elements and I figured "balloon framing" was the best way to describe it.

Chestery,

This was my first experience with the teamsters. I guess they bank on big companies like Shimano and Mavic but you're right, they should allow people to carry their own stuff in. We had to buddy up with the head of Interbike security to allow us to bring in a small pile of lumber.

Andrew said...

Ditto to what chestery said. It cost me $200 to have a "plumber" come over and turn on a valve for my pneumatic cylinders at IMTS in Chicago a few weeks ago. Fucking socialists...